The Kingdom’s kitchens are packed with exciting ingredients, but three products are worth a special mention
Kampot provinces’s peppercorns are up there with the world’s best. Having been given geographical indication (GI) status – also granted to area-specific products such as Roquefort cheese and Darjeeling tea – it is an in-demand ingredient in kitchens from Phnom Penh to Paris. The spice is sold green and fresh from the vine, as well in black, white and red varities.
Try: Confirel’s range of pepper and pepper-based products.
The sugar palm is almost as synonymous with Cambodia as rice. In fact, given they are commonly planted on the borders of rice fields, they often go hand in hand. A supremely multi-purpose tree, with uses in boat construction, roof thatch and even shoe soles, it is the sugar made from the sap of its flower heads that attracts the world’s chefs. It has a mild caramel flavour, melts easily and has a low glycaemic index.
Try: Confirel offers enticing sugar products.
In wet season, shimmering green rice paddies stretch as far as the eye can see. More than ten types are grown in the Kingdom, split into fragrant and white varieties. As on farms almost everywhere, pesticides and fertilisers are often used to grow rice, but some farmers are producing excellent organic varieties to draw in health-conscious consumers.
Try: Ibis Rice sells brown, white and semi-milled organic rice